Gaming machine licences and entitlements
To operate gaming machines (known as poker machines or pokies) in South Australia you must:
- have a gaming machine licence, and
- hold a gaming machine entitlement for each gaming machine in your possession.
Gaming machine licences
To have a gaming machine licence you must have, or have applied for, one of these liquor licences:
- general and hotel liquor licence
- club liquor licence
- on premises liquor licence, but only if the nature of the business is similar to a licensed club and the premises is either:
- a major sporting venue
- the headquarters in SA for a particular sporting code.
Each gaming machine licence specifies the maximum number of gaming machines approved for a venue.
The most any venue can have is 40 machines.
If less than 40 machines have been approved for your venue, you can apply to Consumer and Business Services (CBS) to increase the maximum number of approved machines.
Gaming machine entitlements
When a new gaming machine licence is granted, a licensee will need to purchase gaming machine entitlements. This can be done either:
- through the government’s approved trading system
- under a contractual agreement with Club One before they can own and operate gaming machines.
Each gaming machine entitlement gives the licensee the right to own and operate a single gaming machine at their venue.
It's an offence to own or operate a gaming machine without holding an entitlement.
The number of entitlements held by a licensee can't be more than the maximum number of gaming machines which have been approved for the venue, as stated on the licence.
As a licensee, you can choose not to own or operate a gaming machine, even if you have an entitlement.
Buy, sell or move an entitlement
Gaming machine entitlements can only be purchased, sold or moved between gaming venues in one of three ways:
- through the government's approved trading system
- under a contractual agreement entered into with Club One, subject to approval by the commissioner
- under an arrangement between licensed non-profit associations, subject to approval by the commissioner.
Any changes to the number of entitlements held by a licensee must be approved by the commissioner and will be stated on the gaming machine licence. This will not affect the maximum number of gaming machines that are approved for a venue.
If a gaming machine licence is held by a club licensee, entitlements can be transferred to another club licensee who also holds a gaming machine licence. This is under an arrangement approved by the commissioner.
Club licensees are also able to amalgamate their gaming machine licence with another club in certain circumstances.